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Hull's Memorial Baptist Church
 Pastor's Blog 
Wednesday, November 25 2015

                                                 

"Let us shout joyfully to the Rock of our salvation. Let us come to him with thanksgiving." [Psalm 95:1-2 NLT]

In a quicksand world, God is our Rock.

     Relying on His foundation, we're steady as we go.

In a sad world, God is our joy.

     In His Presence, we sing a thousand alleluias.

In a rebellious world, God is our King.

     Surrendering to the Sovereign, we're subject to change.

In an impersonal world, God is our Friend.

     Relaxing in His Presence, we trust the Lord of our rocking boat.

In an irreverent world, God is our God.

     Realizing we are not self-made, we humble our hearts before Him.

In a sinful world, God is our Redeemer.

     Near His heart, we experience true freedom.

In a do-it-yourself world, God is our inspiration.

     Born from above, by grace we survive the turmoil.

In a hectic world, God is our Home.

     Exchanging our egocentricity for HIs gentle caring, we worship.

Johnny R. Almond, Interim Pastor

Hull's Memorial Baptist Church;  Fredericksburg, Virginia

Posted by: Pastor Almond AT 12:07 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Tuesday, November 24 2015

“Nothing in the affairs of men is worth worrying about.” [Plato, Republic]

 
“All worry is atheism, because it is a want of trust in God.” [Bishop Fulton Sheen]
 

“Take plenty of time to count your blessings, but never spend a minute in worry.” [Anonymous]

Our world is not as safe as it used to be, or as we thought it was. Yesterday the U.S. State Department issued a global travel alert, warning travelers about worldwide threats from al-Qaeda, Boko Haram and ISIL. The alert stated that people unaffiliated with these groups may be motivated by recent terrorist attacks in France, Nigeria, Denmark, Turkey and Mali. Security is being bolstered for Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. We're being cautioned to exercise vigilance in public places or using transportation, to avoid large crowds or crowded places, and to exercise caution during the holiday season and at holiday festivals.
 

Anyone who pays attention to current events can find multiple reasons for hand-wringing. There are so many hot-spots on the globe it’s a wonder the planet doesn’t go up in smoke. When we think the worst atrocity against the human race has already been committed, demon-possessed terrorists invent a new evil that makes us cringe.
 

You’ve probably heard about the office-worker who, when asked why he was tearing up sheets of paper and throwing bits on the floor, replied, “to keep the elephants away.” When the observer said he did not see any elephants, the office-worker replied, “It works, doesn’t it!” It is just as illogical to conclude that worry keeps disasters from happening. Trouble is inevitable, but trembling is optional.
 

Worry about contingencies changes nothing, and can ruin our health. There’s a better way to live—it’s called worship.
 

The name of Jesus is the hope of all the world [Matthew 12:21]. Listening to tomorrow’s hopeful melody, we learn to dance by faith today.
 

In a dangerous world, Jesus is our Refuge. Worshiping him, we are courageous. The vocabulary of fear is replaced by faith language--supposing is canceled by reposing. “The Lord is my light and my salvation—so why should I be afraid? The Lord is my fortress, protecting me from danger, so why should I tremble. Though a mighty army surrounds me, my heart will not be afraid. Even if I am attacked, I will remain confident. Be brave and courageous. Yes, wait patiently for the Lord.” [Psalm 27:1,3,14 NLT]
 

In a deceptive world, Jesus is our Redeemer. Worshiping him, we are changed. In many ways, Jesus is the Man nobody knows, as Bruce Barton described in his 1924 book. In some ways, Jesus is the Man who changed the world—as reflected in history, philosophy, art, literature, architecture, government, law, ethics, music and religion. In the most critical way, Jesus is the One who changes us from the inside out as we worship him not just in church on Sundays, but everywhere and always.
 

In a destabilized world, Jesus is our Rock. Worshiping him, we are calm. “God is our refuge and strength, always ready to help in times of trouble. So we will not fear when earthquakes come. The nations are in chaos, and their kingdoms crumble! The Lord of Heaven’s Armies is here among us; the God of Israel is our fortress. Be still, and know that I am God! I will be honored by every nation. I will be honored throughout the world.” [Psalm 46:1,2,6,7,10 NLT] There are three literary interludes in Psalm 46, marked by the word “Selah”--beautifully translated in the Amplified Bible as “Pause, and calmly think of that.” With God’s help, we can “keep calm and carry on” whatever happens in this unpredictable world.
 

In this worrisome time, believers in the Lord Jesus Christ are blessed as we restate our faith by singing Jean Sibelius’ hymn—“ Be still, my soul: thy God doth undertake To guide the future, as He has the past. Thy hope, thy confidence let nothing shake; All now mysterious shall be bright at last. Be still, my soul: the waves and winds still know His voice Who ruled them while He dwelt below.”
 

Johnny R. Almond
Interim Pastor, Hull’s Memorial Baptist Church; Fredericksburg, Virginia
Blog http://GentleWhispersFromEternity-ScripturePersonalized.com/

Posted by: Pastor Almond AT 02:26 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Tuesday, November 17 2015

                                    "Beyond" by Colin Campbell   

"The wise man in the storm prays God, not for safety from danger, but for deliverance from fear.” [Emerson, Journals, 1833]


Can there be any doubt we are living in a dangerous world?


Terrorists have apparently posted videos stating their intention to attack Washington, D.C. Many Americans are beginning to feel uneasy boarding an aircraft, attending a major sporting event, or even gathering with any large group of people. Terror lurks in the shadows.


On October 31st, a Russian passenger jet traveling from an Egyptian Red Sea resort city to St. Petersburg crashed in a remote area of the Sinai peninsula, killing all 224 aboard. Russia’s Federal Security Service has determined the plane was blown up by a homemade explosive device. This act may have been in retaliation for Russia’s airstrikes in Syria against Islamic State militants.


The news media has almost exclusively focused on last Friday’s Islamic State’s ferocious attacks in Paris that killed at least 129 people and wounded hundreds more. Yesterday President Obama said this act will be met with “intensification” of the U.S.-led fight against the terror group. 


Twenty-four governors, expressing fears about terrorism, in the name of public safety have vowed to do all they can to prevent Syrian refugees from settling in their states.


Many Americans may counter ominous threats of terrorists with “just let them try to hurt us” bravado. Others may try to suppress latent fear through entertainment. But neither pretentious bravery or “head in the sand” diversion will cancel the very real possibility that our enemies may try to kill us and destroy our way of life.

How can we "keep calm and carry on" in such a dangerous world?

By making God our refuge. Protected from the pope and emperor in Wartburg Castle, Martin Luther read Psalm 46 and was inspired to compose “A Mighty Fortress.” Rereading this psalm in light of current events can rekindle our faith—“God is our refuge and strength, always ready to help in times of trouble. So we will not fear. The nations are in chaos, and their kingdoms crumble! The Lord of Heaven's Armies is here among us, the God of Israel is our fortress. Be still, and know that I am God! I wil be honored by every nation."

Reflecting on Luther’s hymn can also reinforce our faith—“A mighty fortress is our God, A bulwark never failing; Our helper He amid the flood of mortal ills prevailing. And tho’ this world with devils filled should threaten to undo us, We will not fear for God hath willed His truth to triumph thro’ us. Let goods and kindred go, This mortal life also—The body they may kill; God’s truth abideth still: His kingdom is forever.”


By remembering the promise of our Savior. “Don’t be afraid of those who threaten you. Don’t be afraid of those who want to kill your body; they cannot touch your soul.” (Matthew 10:28 NLT) Believing in the resurrection of the body enables us to look death in the face and anticipate a life beyond what we experience now.


By resting in Christ’s love. The initial listing in the first-century catalog of fears was death, a feeling repeated in our own time. But in the twenty-first century, as in the first, “nothing—not even death—can separate us from God’s love revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.” [Romans 8:38-39].


By relying on Christ’s victory. “Thank God! He gives us victory over sin and death through our Lord Jesus Christ” [1 Corinthians 15:57].


By looking forward to Christ’s Kingdom. Radical Jihadists kill all who oppose their view of the ideal society. Dreaming of the establishment of an Islamic caliphate, they’re willing to die in their holy war. Christ’s subjects pray for all who oppose their belief in God’s promise of heaven on earth. Looking forward by faith to the establishment of his Kingdom, they’re willing to faithfully persevere as soldiers in a holy war in which God fights on their behalf. The night of terror will not last forever—the dawn of peace will come when “the kingdoms of this world become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he shall reign forever and ever” [Revelation 11:15 KJV].

“The spirit God has bestowed on us is not one that shrinks from danger. But He has given us a spirit of power and of love and of calm.” [2 Timothy 1:7, Knox, Amp]
 

Johnny R. Almond
Interim Pastor, Hull’s Memorial Baptist Church; Fredericksburg, Virginia
Blog http://GentleWhispersFromEternity-ScripturePersonalized.com/

Posted by: Pastor Almond AT 05:26 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email

    Hull's Memorial Baptist Church
    420 Enon Road | Fredericksburg, VA 22406 | PH: 540.371.4124